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March 2014

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Approaches to Remove URLs by Webmaster Console

Approaches to Remove URLs by Webmaster Console
Webmaster console in Google is approached by many common topics. There are lot of good stats like the back links and penalties in here. But the question frequently asked in webmaster is how to remove URLs from Google.

Some of the possible approaches that can be followed to remove URLs are

Not linking your page to Google

People sometime believe that if they do not link their page and keep it a secret, it will not show up in the search engine. This is possibly a very bad idea. The reason is once you jump from one page to another, then the browser will automatically refer the later page to hyperlink the former page you have been to thus allowing Google to crawl your page and link.

.htaccess

This is the simple way to prevent URLs getting linked. This process is not available in Webmaster console but there are other widgets on the web which provides .htaccess. Here, you can password protect a subdirectory or even your entire site. This is a strong and robust approach. It is because if you have a password on your directory, Google will not guess that password and crawl and hence will not show in index.

Robots.txt

It's a very familiar method used since 2006. It's basically like an electronic 'no-trespassing' sign on your site. But it sometime causes syntax errors. So it is recommended to test try the tool first and then put it on live. It is available on Webmaster console. But now Google has an option to show un-crawled reference in the search engine.

NoIndex Metatag

It asks Google not to show a page at all in the search engine. Which means Google will crawl the site but will not show in the index even if someone asks for the page in the search engine. There are complications as well.

Nofollow on Individual links

This is a weak approach as it is very difficult to NoFollow on all links to a page. For example, you have a page 'A' and you use Nofollow link on page 'B' from page 'A'. But, a user goes to page 'C' and links to page 'B' allowing Google to crawl the page. So you have to make sure every link has not followed.

URL Removal Tool

This is a new incorporation in webmaster console and is very useful. You can remove a link or an entire site or domain. If, by mistake, you have removed a domain or an important link, you can revoke the request and it will be back to you quickly unlike five years back when the process was very slow.

Author: Kundan Bora Google+